THURSDAY 3.19

Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Walker Art Center

Will Oldham's star has been on the rise for nearly 20 years as he and his eccentric alter ego, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, have built a prolific career in acting, visual art, and music. He's been busy—with a recent New Yorker profile; a role in last year's film Wendy & Lucy; collaborations with Dosh, Tortoise, Mark Kozolek, and countless others; and Beware, a beautiful new album of quirky Americana, baleful country, sly folk-rock, and everything in between. It's a wonder he has time to tour, but he's coming to the Walker's McGuire Theater for two shows. With Pillars and Tongues (8 p.m.) and Begushkin (10:30 p.m.). $21-$25. 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.375.7600. Jake Mohan

Les Claypool

Myth

Whether performing with Primus, his Frog Brigade, Fancy Band, or any number of other groups, Les Claypool has never been one to shy away from the bizarre. Despite the tireless schedule he's maintained throughout the years, with his continual shift away from mainstream rock, it's no wonder that his creativity has spread outside the world of traditional recording. Among other projects, he's written and recorded the themes for both South Park and Adult Swim's Robot Chicken in addition to recently scoring the Mushroom Men video game and low budget Pig Hunt motion picture. The elder statesman of eccentric booty-bass hasn't gone completely off the edge, however, and proof of that comes with his live show. Typically donning any number of masks and vibrant costumes, Claypool is accompanied by musicians playing anything from a sitar to a xylophone, while personally rotating through such instruments as an electric upright bass and his homemade "Whamola" (essentially an electrified washtub bass). Actually, I take that back: The man is long gone. Either way, you're doing yourself a disservice if you turn away from the opportunity to see one of the most unusual and talented musicians of the past 20 years. With DeVotchKa, Saul Williams, and Secret Chiefs 3. All ages. $32/$35 at the door. 6:30 p.m. 3090 Southlawn Dr., Maplewood; 651.779.6984. Chris DeLine

FRIDAY 3.20

Ecid

Dinkytowner Cafe

"There comes a time when a man has one choice/Leave it all behind or design a new voice," Ecid snarls in "The Revolution Is a T-Shirt," one of several standout tracks on his new CD, Red Beretta. Ecid's long since taken that latter route in establishing himself as one of the Twin Cities' finest when it comes to stress rap, combining a sharply bitter outlook with the kind of lyrical clarity many underground MCs lack. Yet his latest album takes that voice and expands it outward, stretching over a sprawling, character-based concept record that relates the intersecting lives of a fading jazz musician, a family wracked with domestic violence, and the titular weapon-holder strung out on delusions of revenge killing. Red Beretta's beats are drenched in cinematic acid rock and soul jazz, and infused with a striking bleakness that makes it Ecid's most harrowing and evocative production work as well as a lyrical tour de force. Expect it to be an even more intense experience in person. 18+. $5. 9 p.m. 412 1/2 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612.362.0437. Nate Patrin

SATURDAY 3.21

Occidental Brothers Dance Band International

Cedar Cultural Center

Although based in Chicago, OBDBI specialize in Afropop, encompassing a vast array of styles from areas roughly stretching from West Africa southward through the center of the continent. The Occidentals especially concentrate on highlife, infectious party music that originated along the Gold Coast and is characterized by simmering polyrhythms, percussive guitars, and snaky, undulating melodies usually played by horns. Their repertoire is drawn from artists from what could be considered the golden age of Afropop: Franco, Thomas Mapfumo, Kwaw Mensah. Oh, and New Order, because leader/guitarist Nathaniel Braddock, a Michigan native, noticed similarities between the Manchester band's mid-'80s nugget "Bizarre Love Triangle" and a highlife variety called Sikyi. Subtle bits of indie rock, hip hop, and jazz seep into OBDBI music, the last mostly via alto saxophonist Greg Ward, who's active on the Chicago jazz scene and sneaks bop elements into the mix when he's not providing scintillating counterpoint to Braddock's guitar. Kofi Cromwell adds trumpet and vocals in the Ghanaian dialects of Fante and Twi (and occasional English), Daniel Rambo Asamoah plays percussion, and Josh Ramos bass. Cromwell and Asamoah are veterans of the Ghanaian highlife band Western Diamonds, an authentic connection to the real article that the rest of the band definitely achieves in spirit. All ages. $12/$15 at the door. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

Muja Messiah

Uptown Theatre

Those who hustle tend to get ahead in whatever their game of choice, and that fact isn't lost on local MC Muja Messiah, who at every turn concerns himself with staying one step ahead of the pack. Recently returning from Las Vegas, where he was recording material that follows the release of last year's Thee Adventures of a B-Boy D-Boy and MPLS Massacre mixtape, Muja looks to be on pace for another release this year that will help advance his presence amongst the Twin Cities' elite MCs. In addition to recently debuting a few new tracks, such as "Red Rover" and "We Survived the Bush Era," Muja's been on a tear, performing at high-profile gigs such as Dre Day VII and 3 the Hard Way, which also featured the likes of Atmosphere, Brother Ali, and Toki Wright. In another interesting gig, Muja will be performing prior to a showing of Scarface at the Uptown Theatre, the latest in a unique series that has been running throughout the winter. 18+. Free with admission to movie. 11:45 p.m. 1320 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis; 612.825.6006. —Chris DeLine

SUNDAY 3.22

Hawaiian Treasures Celebration

Cedar Cultural Center

What's generally considered traditional Hawaiian music is actually a mix of influences from outside the islands, brought by sailors, immigrants, and missionaries from East and West, mingling with Polynesian chants and percussion. The resulting blend is distinctly Hawaiian, however, and as alluring as the spectacular natural landscape which it often evokes. Slack key guitar, a style that originated in the early 19th century when native Hawaiians created innovative tunings on guitars brought by Mexican cowboys, has become emblematic of the islands since the cultural renaissance of the 1970s, of which all three of these Hawaii "treasures" were part. George Kahumoku Jr. and Dennis Kamakahi are slack key masters. Kahumoku is a multidisciplinary artist and the main force behind a weekly slack key concert series in Maui that has spawned a succession of Grammy-winning live albums. Kamakahi, with a particularly rich, resonant voice, is a prolific songwriter responsible for many contemporary Hawaiian standards. Joining them will be Richard Ho'opi'i, who performed as the Ho'op'i Brothers with his now-retired brother Sol. He is a master of a traditional soaring falsetto singing style called leo ki'eki'e, and accompanies himself on ukulele. All ages. $20/$25. 7 p.m. 416 Cedar Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.338.2674. —Rick Mason

TUESDAY 3.24

Katy Perry

First Avenue

At last month's Brit Awards, Katy Perry beat out Beyoncé, Pink, and Santigold to capture the award for International Female Solo Artist. She accepted it in humble fashion, bashfully wishing thanks to a laundry list of names before explaining that, due to being quite ill, she wasn't planning on appearing at the show. Contrasting such an abashed public persona are public tiffs with other singers, a controversy over a picture of Perry fashionably brandishing a knife, and performances wearing excessively vibrant get-ups. But such a balance is part of what's so attractive about the singer; at any given moment she can be an over-the-top pop star, or a soft-spoken songwriter gently performing with her guitar. On top of it all, Perry writes much of her own music and can honestly carry a tune without ridiculous enhancements, making her a musician who has the potential for of maintaining an exciting career for years to come. With the Daylights. 15+. $18. 6:30 p.m. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612.332.1775. —Chris DeLine

A.C. Newman

400 Bar

The assertion that individual and ensemble careers often differ seems so self-evident that it might as well go without saying. But what of Canadian indie-rocker A.C. Newman, and the band he co-fronts, the New Pornographers? A democratic, ever-expanding lineup has served to neuter the joltingly virile power-pop the Pornographers showcased on their debut, Mass Romantic, into something limpid over the course of several studio albums. Newman's own work, meanwhile—2004's The Slow Wonder and this year's formidable Get Guilty (both on Matador)—has been consistent in its unabashed, melodic purity, drawing upon late-20th-century songcraft while staying true to its creator's idiosyncratic tendency to cobble together obtuse linguistic non sequiturs fused to synth and guitar hooks you'll catch yourself humming along to in the shower without quite realizing it. With all due respect to part-time Pornographer/alt-country doyenne Neko Case, if you have to catch one Newman-related set this year, make it this one. With the Broken West. 18+. $12/$14 at the door. 8 p.m. 400 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.332.2903. Ray Cummings

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